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Trusting EnemiesInterpersonal Relationships in International Conflict$
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Nicholas J. Wheeler

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199696475

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199696475.001.0001

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USA–Iran, 2009–2010

USA–Iran, 2009–2010

(p.238) 8 USA–Iran, 2009–2010
Trusting Enemies

Nicholas J. Wheeler

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the attempts by the first Obama Administration to reach out to Iran in an effort to build trust. It traces the failure of Obama’s diplomatic efforts to secure any reciprocation from Iranian leaders. The lack of reciprocation shows the problem of accurate signal interpretation when there is no trust. It focuses on the negotiations in 2009–10 over limiting Iran’s supply of nuclear fuel in return for refuelling the Tehran Research Reactor. The chapter argues these negotiations failed because of the lack of trust. What makes this case so important is that there was no face-to-face interaction, which this book argues is critical to the development of interpersonal trust and accurate signal interpretation.

Keywords:   Obama, trust, face-to-face, Iran, United States, nuclear, negotiations

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